Children Teach Their Parents How to Build Character


Article by Wendy McCance

Have you ever faced a rough patch with your children?  Something happening in their life where you were unable to do much other than show support, give advice and hope they pull through their difficult time?  I was recently put to the challenge.

One of my daughters was having a difficult time with a friend.  Watching what was happening was truly painful.  My heart broke watching my daughter navigate through a rough situation.  When kids are young, there is so much for them to learn when it comes to friendships.  Knowing who to trust with your most personal feelings, learning about loyalty, compassion and when a friendship has run its course are all big life lessons.

One of the difficult parts about parenting is knowing how much you should get involved and when to stand back so your child can do their own growing.  I really believe that working through these issues are not only character building for the child, but for the parent as well.  These are the moments when your values come into play.  What advice you feel your child might benefit from is crucial.  These are the moments when you hope your beliefs are solid and that your advice is wise.

When my daughter was working through her situation, I felt helpless.  I wanted to protect her and stand up for her, but it would have been ridiculous.  These were girls who needed to figure out their problems on their own without parental involvement.  All I could do was be there for her.

It’s funny how you end up reflecting about your own youth.  What you went through and how you handled it.  Would you have changed anything you did in the past?  Have you grown into a better adult?  Do you value your way of handling rough situations enough to offer advice?

My daughter is doing much better.  The bad times were over quickly.  I believe my daughter is wiser and more confident because of what she went through.  I also believe I am better for the experience as well.

As your children grow up, another layer of yourself is growing up alongside of them.  What makes your children stronger and wiser is having a similar effect on you as well.  I am grateful for the strength I have gained while standing alongside my kids as they grow up.


Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

15 thoughts on “Children Teach Their Parents How to Build Character

  1. Well I haven’t gone through this phase, as I am a bachelor.;) ya but the things which you said are true. its always important to let grow oneself at time, by falling and rising. and its more important for a parent to know which one should be let down or which one should be hold and at what time..

  2. Lovely thoughts and so true. There are times when we must step back and express a belief that they can “work it out.” It’s necessary to their growth and development, and ours as well.

  3. As a parent, I relate with you in how hard it is to watch our children work out these problems and we can no longer just kiss a scraped up knee and make it better. Our roles become different in giving them loving support trusting what they’ve learned will help them make the right decisions — knowing sometimes the choices they make seem painful.

    I can remember a number of incidents my girls struggled with relationships, peer pressure, love and I wished I could protect them from it but I couldn’t and through it all they became strong, independent, loving women and mothers. That’s not to say they’re still not faced with challenges but I think they’ve learned their strength and core of who they are.

  4. Thanks for sharing this story. You are so right; as a pediatrician I have learned so much from my patients and have seen so many parents learn from their kids. Likewise, I have learned from my own kids. I have put some of the things I learned from teens together in a book, “Messengers in Denim.” I had wanted to title it “Life lessons I learned from teens”, but the publisher thought on one was interested in teenagers. The title comes from the idea that kids come with a message from their creator and it is our duty as parents to find that message, live it, and teach them the lesson(s) He gave us!
    Read more about it on my website;
    Have a great day and thanks so much for your great learning story. Par

  5. How well said. I was fortunate I had boys and boys seem to work things out much faster than girls. One memory that came to the surface as I was reading this involved my youngest son. He was about 10 and had had a disagreement with a good friend. He came home very upset, I listened but made no comments either way. I told him I was sure it would work out in the end. After a little reflection he decided he was going to apologize to his friend, (both were in the wrong so to speak), he just wanted it over. Unfortunately, the mother answered the door and only hearing her sons side of things yelled at my son and told him he wasn’t allowed to have any thing more to do with her son. I felt so badly for my son when he returned it really tested my strength that day.

    • That’s horrible. It took your son so much courage to go talk with his friend. I can’t believe that mom would be so mean to another child. Thanks so much for sharing the story.

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